As far too many people are aware, opioid addiction and abuse is growing in the United States. It’s been estimated that over 100 people die every single day in this country from an opioid overdose. If you or someone you know is addicted to opiates, then the risk of becoming a part of that statistic increases.
Many people do eventually seek treatment and opiate detox, but for every person who recognizes they have a problem with opiates, there’s someone else who does not. That’s why it’s important to recognize the signs of opiate abuse and addiction, so you can offer help if you encounter someone who needs it.
What Are Opiates?
Opiates are substances that occur naturally, such as heroin, codeine, and morphine. Opioid is a term that encompasses natural opiates as well as synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl.
Opiates and opioids have similar, pain-killing effects on the body and can depress the body functions as well.
What Is Opiate Addiction?
Opiate addiction is exemplified by the habitual use of an opioid drug paired with theinability to control the urge to use.
Once someone becomes addicted to opiates, they have an intense urge to use – so intense that it can be very difficult or impossible to stop. In many cases, people continue to use opiates even after they suffer major consequences, such as getting fired from their job or arrested. This is considered one of the key indicators of an addiction.
Common Signs of Opiate Abuse & Addiction
There are a host of signs of opiate addiction, ranging from mild to severe. The most common signs of abuse and addiction include:
One of the first signs of an issue is behavior changes. If someone avoids simple things such as making eye contact with family or friends, has mood changes, or is unusually excited or nervous during your interactions, then it could be a sign of something deeper going on.
It’s also not uncommon for someone to shift away from doing activities they previously enjoyed. They may switch their friend groups abruptly or isolate themselves, too. Stealing, hiding things, or encountering legal problems are also signs that an addiction is progressing.
For many that struggle with abuse of opiates, the physical toll it takes on the body can be quite severe. They may experience noticeable changes in appearance such as weight gain or loss. When talking, they may slur their words. They can appear unbalanced when walking or appear to have issues with coordination.
Other physical signs of addiction to opiates include small pupils, flushed skin, constipation, scarring on the arms, needle marks on the arms, hands, or feet, and a decrease in sexual desire.
If someone becomes physically dependent on opiates, then they will experience withdrawals. If you notice someone complaining of feeling sick or they begin to call off work or miss school frequently, then that could be signs of a problem.
Professional opiate treatment is almost always necessary if you or someone you love is addicted. In Pocatello, contact Moonlight Mountain Recovery to learn more about the steps you can take to get help.